The U.S. government is known by two hallmarks: absolute power over everything on Earth, and; a complete aversion to the truth. Naturally, it wants to prosecute Julian Assange of Wikileaks.
US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.
The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.
Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.
During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well. The investigation continued, but any possible charges were put on hold, according to US officials involved in the process then.
But Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, argued that US prosecution of Assange sets a dangerous precedent.
“Never in the history of this country has a publisher been prosecuted for presenting truthful information to the public,” Wizner told CNN. “Any prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing government secrets would set a dangerous precedent that the Trump administration would surely use to target other news organizations.”
There’s a pattern, here, as old as government corruption itself: government commits evil; someone exposes the evil; the evil-doers visit upon the exposing party.
A great opportunity for the advancement of human freedom is missed. Washington could acknowledge it’s many faults, as exposed by Wikileaks, and vow to fix them. It could stop spying on everyone, wasting money, bombing without cause, and generally mind its own damned business. They might actually thank Assange and Co. for their work.
That’s not going to happen. Dangerous precedents from dangerous people.